Bus barn

1969 — The Astoria School District is studying replacement of its bus shed, near Gyro Field. Men working at the facility say the structure, which includes a maintenance area, shakes when equipment is operated inside.

10 years ago this week — 2009

The last wrinkles have been ironed out of the contract between the Port of Astoria, the city of Newport and SeaPort Airlines.

On Friday, Oregon Department of Aviation Director Dan Clem approved SeaPort’s financial records, and the contract was signed by the Port, the city of Newport and SeaPort.

Air service is due to start between the coast Portland March 15.

A 75-acre acquisition by the Columbia Land Trust has nearly quadrupled the protected area at the Twilight Eagle Sanctuary in Burnside.

The trust purchased the tract in December, adding shoreline and tidal wetlands to 27 acres of property already conserved by Clatsop County, the Oregon Eagle Foundation and the North Coast Land Conservancy.

The document vault behind the combination safe door at the Port of Astoria office is filled mostly with boxes of boring old invoices, canceled checks and insurance policies.

But on one of the shelves, Port Commissioner Floyd Holcom has found a dozen bulky, leather-bound minute books that have held him spellbound for weeks. The books, faded red and inscribed with gold lettering, chronicle the Port’s history on yellowing, type-set pages dating back to 1911.

Inside them, Holcom has uncovered forgotten documentation of Port projects and property purchases, of early leadership and ambitious plans.

In addition to inspiring other commissioners to do some digging of their own, his findings have raised hopes that the Port might regain control of long-lost land acquisitions, or maybe just fill in some of the agency’s patchy institutional memory.

50 years ago — 1969

The Port of Astoria Commission has authorized hiring an engineering firm to make a land-use feasibility study of the Skipanon River area to see where future industrial and port terminal facilities should go in relation to the Northwest Aluminum Co. plant.

Clatsop County settled back with a sigh of relief today as warming showers from the southwest continued to melt snowdrifts from all but the highest streets.

Storm-closed schools reopened, garbage collections resumed, buses ran on schedule, streets in downtown Astoria were clear of snow and for the first time in more than a week a commercial aircraft landed at Astoria Airport.

State police, members of the Astoria Rod & Gun club and wildlife conservationists were conducting a rescue mission today to various parts of Clatsop County where deer and elk were known to be hungry.

Cpl. Ken Moore said six four-wheel drive vehicles were to be used to ferry several tons of hay and dry food to Gnat Creek, Saddle Mountain, the Lower Nehalem, Lewis and Clark and Youngs River valleys, where herds of animals were said to be suffering from lack of food.

75 years ago — 1944

“A trip around the world” without gas coupons is one of the features to be offered at the Anchor Bond Carnival for the delight of patrons young and old and the amazement of local OPA officials, according to Mrs. Elsa Lonberg, chairman of the big ABC event set for the USO pavilion Friday night.

Fare for the world tour — as well as for all other events of the carnival — will be war stamps.

Robert Lucas, associate editor of the Astorian-Budget, informally discussed problems of censorship and wartime public relations in the handling of army and navy news before the Clatsop County League of Women Voters at their monthly luncheon in the Presbyterian church Wednesday.

Lucas reviewed some efforts by the federal office of war information to obtain more prompt and complete coverage of battle campaigns, and cited the extraordinary press cooperation arranged by Admiral Nimitz to cover the Tarawa show as a milestone in the right direction toward developing a war consciousness among the American people.

The Astoria newspapermen said the American press wants to give the people the truth about “their” war.

A WAVE chorus has been added to the stage attractions scheduled to appear in the Anchor Bond Carnival Friday night in the USO pavilion, according to Murray Peck, photographer’s mate second class, U.S. Navy, who will be master of ceremonies for the big bond selling affair.

The girls’ chorus will be augmented by a trio of WAVES, while another member of the locally stationed WAVE unit is billed as the Dancing WAVE.

One of the most essential things to know about Groundhog Day is that the groundhog makes good eating and requires no ration points. Otherwise, the groundhog doesn’t have much to offer, particularly when it comes to weather forecasting.

This being Groundhog Day, Miss Loraine Lloyd, specialist on rodents for the Chicago museum of national history, put the groundhog in his place — which is a hole in the ground.

The groundhog, she said, is no forecaster. He’s only a first cousin to a rat.

Bob Duke is the author of the weekly Water Under the Bridge column in The Daily Astorian. Contact him at beachduke@gmail.com

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